The California Valley Miwok Tribe located at 10601 Escondido Pl., Stockton, CA (as listed in the federal register of the Bureau of Indian Affairs BIA/DOI). A federally recognized Tribe eligible to receive services from the federal government, on September 23, 2010 attended a meeting of cultural importance at a historical village site within Calaveras County.
The Tribe was invited to this meeting by Barb Siskin, Senior Archaeologist /Project Manager of Garcia & Associates, which was also attended by Mark Davis, Engineer, Calaveras County Public Works; Caltrans District 10 personnel – Jacqueline Wait, Melissa Logue and Tim Hayes, and representatives of the areas local residents. Also attending and representing the cultural preservation departments of not only the California Valley Miwok Tribe but also the Calaveras Band of Mi-Wuk Indians (the state recognized Tribe), was CVMT’s Cultural Preservation Dept. Director Ms. Debra Grimes, assisted by Adam Lewis, CBMI’s Cultural Preservation Specialist/ Assistant Director.
This was a very important meeting as this project was initiated some time ago without any contact to either of the Tribes. The California Valley Miwok Tribe upon learning of the project immediately involved the Tri-Miwok Consortium and networked with residents of the local community that the site sits within, inviting all organizational representatives to the meeting so that during the site visit everyone would have an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. At the meeting, the Tribes vowed to work very closely with the local citizens in protecting what is now known (by all whom attended) as a major village site, and to implement Section 106 (federal law) to preserve the site from further desecration and erosion, to work with the local citizens and land owners to minimize any impact that could adversely affect the serenity that country living has brought to their lives.
This is a great story that will show how a federally recognized Tribe can interact with local citizens and their appointed representatives, all with the same beliefs and concerns in achieving a positive outcome. The Tribes are looking forward to working closely with Caltrans District 10 staff, the Calaveras County Department of Public Works, and Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Wilensky (of whose district the proposed project lies within) in protecting the rights and addressing the concerns brought up at the meeting by his constituents (that reside in his district) over this project that existing documentation and studies show would best serve this community further south (where there is a history of many road accidents resulting in multiple fatalities.)
We thank the local residents and their representatives, the Tri-Miwok Consortium, Caltrans District 10, and the Calaveras County Public Works Department for their attendance in making this initial meeting a success. Again, the tribes look forward to working closely with all whom attended this initial meeting, and also in the future, in working more closely with Supervisor Steve Wilensky whenever a project may be proposed within his district in the future.